Sometimes, dental treatments may call for a type of sedation in order for pain to be limited during the procedure. However, there may also be instances where anxiety gets the best of you or your child and a sedative is needed to make it through the treatment. In many of these instances, nitrous oxide sedation may be used. It’s also referred to as “laughing gas” because it relaxes a person and doesn’t allow them to feel stress or anxiety. If used in the correct quantities, nitrous oxide will also make you relax so much that you fall asleep, if need be. However, it’s usually only used to relax a person or make them unaware of a procedure occurring.
How is Nitrous Oxide Used?
Nitrous oxide is often administered through a face mask. It’s commonly diluted by mixing it with oxygen when it’s administered. This is why the face mask is often used, in order to mix the two products. It’s often administered in a small enough quantity to only relax a person and not actually knock them out. This is because nitrous oxide sedation is a common “conscious sedation” technique, used more for those who get anxiety or stress during dental situations. In other words, there’s no reason for them to be full out, just relaxed. Nitrous oxide is the safest and most effective way of accomplishing this.
Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Safe for My Child?
In short, nitrous oxide sedation is definitely safe and very effective for your child. The oxygen to gas mixture is easily controlled by a dental professional in order to account for the size of the patient. Outside of that, this type of sedation is mild and nothing as serious as what you would find in a surgery room.
Many children find it stressful going to the dentist or orthodontist. This isn’t uncommon however, it can be quite the complication for dental professionals, parents, and children alike. Dental professionals often can’t do their job correctly if a child won’t remain calm. A child can’t calm themselves down because all they understand is that they’re scared. A parent is stressed because they understand both sides and can’t really help either way. This is why nitrous oxide is such an amazing tool. There are no long-lasting effects on the child. They can remain calm and free of stress which equates into the parents being relaxed and the dental professionals being able to do their job correctly and efficiently.
If you or one of your family members struggle with stress and anxiety when visiting a dentist office, never hesitate to talk to your dentist. They will provide all of the options available to you, the details on each, and which would be the best option for your specific circumstances and needs.